One U.S. Marine has died and eight others are missing following a “mishap” involving an amphibious assault vehicle (AAV) during a routine training exercise off the Southern California coast.
Two other service members were injured in the incident on July 30, the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force said in a statement. Both were taken to local hospitals, with one reported to be in critical condition and the other in stable condition.
Search and rescue efforts are underway to find the missing Marines, with the Navy and Coast Guard assisting, according to the statement. Fifteen Marines and one sailor were inside the vehicle at the time of the incident, and eight people have been recovered.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident. I ask that you keep our Marines, Sailors, and their families in your prayers as we continue our search,” Col. Christopher Bronzi, 15th MEU Commanding Officer, said.
The deceased Marine, whose name has been withheld until next of kin have been notified, was pronounced dead at a San Diego area hospital, according to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. The incident remains under investigation.